PUHI — Student enrollment was up the first day of classes at Kaua‘i Community College, but fell short of the goal the school had set for itself.
“This was the semester for us to hit the 1,500 mark,” said Earl Nishiguchi, vice chancellor of Student Affairs. “The only other time we hit 1,500 was after Hurricane Iniki.”
As of 7:30 Monday morning, KCC had 1,374 students enrolled, he said. With late registration continuing through this week, the school should end up with 1,400 students.
The enrollment numbers put KCC at an increase of 10.5 percent, third highest in the University of Hawai‘i network of educational sites.
Topping the list is Hawai‘i Community College on the Big Island with an enrollment of 3,706 students, a 17.8 percent increase over last year. Windward Community College follows at a 17.4 percent increase with 2,561 students registered.
Comparatively, the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa was the only institution to show a decrease in enrollment with 18,722 students registered, a 0.9 percent decrease over the same period last year.
Statistics from the Institutional Research Office at the University of Hawai‘i show KCC had a big jump in enrollment from fall 2008 when 1,040 students were enrolled. In the same period the following year, KCC enrollment spiked to 1,244 students, a 19.6 percent increase.
Despite this boost, KCC was still second to Maui Community College whose enrollment increased 26.2 percent.
ROV Club in the works
Stu Burley, a student at the University of Hawai‘i through its online program, said he is currently a senior but is only taking one course this semester.
Burley, the adviser of the Remotely Operated Vehicle underwater robotics program at Waimea High School, said his focus this semester is to form a ROV Club at KCC.
“We have four students right now,” he said. “There’s room for more students.”
Burley said the “trainee-ship” involves each student putting in five hours a week with hours being flexible, and receiving a stipend of $1,200 at the end of the semester. This is funded by the Hawai‘i Space Consortium, the same program that funded the summer electronics and rocketry students.
Burley said the goal is to have the KCC ROV students build a small robot capable of being taken to the elementary schools on the island where it will be demonstrated to students, preparing them for the next level.
At the high school level, students build a larger ROV which is taken to state competition.
But the ultimate goal of the KCC ROV Club is to have the students build a robot that will be taken to the International ROV competition in Houston, Texas next year.
“There are more than 20 countries that participate in the international competition and our goal is to have KCC students among that field,” Burley said. “Everything is funded through the space program.”
For more information on registering, visit www.kauai.hawaii.edu. Registration will take place during normal business hours, closing at 4:30 p.m.